The average rent in March was £544, £4 less than in February, the latest Scotland Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move found.
The 0.7% decrease is the steepest monthly fall since the index began and also represents the first monthly drop in rents since September 2015.
Glasgow rents saw the biggest fall in March with an £8 (1.5%) decrease from February to £544.
Edinburgh was the only area to see a rise in average rents last month, with a £1 increase leading to a new monthly high of £645.
Brian Moran, lettings director at Your MoveScotland, said: “Those who signed a new tenancy in March will be feeling confident they snapped up a competitive deal, and will be enjoying a little extra cash in their pockets at the end of every month.
“It’s been a rare break for cover and it’s unlikely to hang about for long as the Scottish rental market begins to gear up towards the annual autumnal peak.
“Tenants in big cities like Edinburgh haven’t enjoyed the same reprieve at all, with the ratio of supply and demand still stacked greatly against them. Investment from landlords needs to follow the tune of the jobs market and economic activity.
“Affordability is the main warning light to watch out for on the dashboard, and with the frequency of arrears on the rise once again, this reminds us of the considerable obstacles ahead.
“With landlords now facing an additional 3% stamp duty on property purchases, and the Private Tenancies Bill passed through Scottish Parliament, we’re entering unchartered territory.
“What we do know is that if landlords hit the brakes and cause a roadblock of supply in the private rented sector, tenants will be the casualties paying higher rents in the longer term.”
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